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The Moterssori-inspired childcare center Brella employees watch over children while parents can balance their jobs.
Image courtesy of Brella

A slew of parent-tech companies aimed at finding flexible childcare saw $1.4 billion worth of venture investments in 2021, largely to meet the demands of parents in a pandemic era who have more flexible work commutes and require more tech-enabled solutions.

The U.S. has long dealt with a crippling childcare infrastructure plagued by low wages and a labor shortage in preschools and daycares, but according to a new survey conducted by WiSTEM Los Angeles, the COVID-19 crisis made it worse. During the pandemic, women left the workforce due to the lack of childcare and caretaking resources. By 2021, women made up the lowest percentage of the workforce since 1988.

In the L.A. area, an increasing number of childcare startups are aiming to address the growing national crisis.

This week, we took a look at several such companies, including:

Marina del Rey-based WeeCare, a startup that helps people open their own childcare facilities and works with employers to provide solutions for their employees.

L.A.-based Playground, which raised $3 million in seed funding last year for its in-house platform enabling childcare providers to communicate with staff and parents, track attendance, report student behavior and provide automatic invoicing services.

Brella, which launched in 2019, raised $5 million in seed funding in January to create a tech-enabled daycare scheduling platform that could meet the demand of flexible childcare as parents navigate a hybrid work environment, and recently opened a new location in Hollywood.

Read more in our top story of the week, and explore more tech geared toward families.

Here’s What Happened in LA’s Entertainment Tech World This Week 🍿

Netflix is looking to Asia to increase subscriber growth and replicate the success it's had with “Squid Game.”

Snapchat launched a premium service, Snapchat Plus, for $3.99 a month.

An FCC Commissioner urged Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores.

Live performance app Encore wants to allow musicians to host virtual concerts anywhere and bring them to fans' smartphones.

Activision bought Boston-based game studio Proletariat to expand its ‘World of Warcraft’ team.

Content creators who use their platform to boost crypto-related products could quickly lose up to a quarter of their audience, according to a new survey.

A look at how language-learning app Heypal, like a growing number of startups, uses social media influencers to promote its product.

TikTok parent company ByteDance announced it's brought in over $1 billion in mobile game sales.

A group of TikTok content moderators said they'e faced emotional distress after reviewing hours of disturbing videos on the platform.

Here's a rundown of how Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter are reacting to concerns about privacy on their platforms as some states look to crack down on abortions.

Venture Capital & Finance 💰

MaC Venture Capital surpassed its $200 million goal for its second fund.

Inspectiv raised $8.6 million for a cyber crime-fighting A.I.

Regard raised $15 million to relieve physicians of administrative busywork.

Braid Theory, an accelerator focused on port-centric technology, is accepting applications for its next cohort.

SoCal-based startups raised over $245 million this week. Read about them all in our weekly roundup.

Space 🚀

Virgin Orbit embarked on its first nighttime rocket launch on Thursday, a key step stone to attracting more NASA support.

Relativity Space has now secured over $1.2 billion in launch contracts.

🎧 Listen Up 

Bling Capital’s Kyle Lui talks about how his venture firm aims to support young founders.

Goop Executive VP Noora Raj Brown shares lessons on overcoming self-doubt and burnout while remaining creative.

JC2 Ventures founder and CEO Mark Chambers discusses how investors and executvies should approach an economic downturn.


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